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Burning Bridges

In response to a posting by Dan Feldman on the Piston Powered blog, in which he reports that Richard Hamilton has refused to speak to John Kuester or Joe Dumars:

Chauncey Billups recently said that Rip was "Pistons royalty".  Correction, Chaunce: Rip could have been Pistons royalty. No one doubts that this is a difficult situation for a player to be in, but if Rip had handled it with an ounce of class or dignity-- like Chaunce did when he was actually traded-- his legacy as a franchise great would have been preserved. Instead, he has taken the route Isiah Thomas once did when he ended his run as a Piston.  Zeke, if you remember, burned every bridge within the organization before bowing out, including publicly discussing private arrangements he had with Bill Davidson and breaking his hand while sucker-punching longtime teammate Bill Laimbeer. Thomas will forever be regarded as the greatest Piston ever, but sullied his image by allowing his childish persona to be the lasting image fans remember.  Hamilton certainly has not reached the depths of his backcourt predecessor, but it appears he has resigned himself to turning his back to the organization and community that once prized him as a prince.  Sad, sad, sad...

By Andy Fung
February 1, 2011

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